Merle Haggard hospitalized

Alicia Landrum

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Country Hall of Famer Merle Haggard was hospitalized Jan. 17 in The Medical Center of Central Georgia for double-pneumonia, according to Macon.com.

Haggard’s illness caused him to cancel his show at the Macon City Auditorium right before he was expected to go on stage. He has canceled all tour dates through the end of February for recovery, according to his official website merlehaggard.com. The canceled tour dates have been rescheduled for April.

He intends to return to the Macon City Auditorium on April 25.

Along with being treated for double-pneumonia, the 74 year old star was diagnosed with 3 stomach ulcers, 8 polyps in his colon and diverticulitis of the esophagus.

Haggard issued a statement through his publicist Tresa Redburn saying, “Thanks to the folks of Macon, Georgia for their kindness, intelligence and probably saving my life.”

Haggard released his newest album, “Working in Tennessee,” in October 2011. He is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and fiddler.

Haggard was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame for his chart-topping “Okie from Muscogee.”

His 1964 cover of Wynn Stewart’s “Sing a Sad Song” was his first national hit.

By 1967 Haggard had three Top Ten singles, including “My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers” and the number one hit “The Fugitive.”

Other chart-toppers include, “Sing Me Back Home,” “Mama Tried” and “Fightin’ Side of Me,” as well as more than 30 others.

Johnny Cash introduced Haggard on his variety show, saying, “Here’s a man who writes about his life and has had a life to write about.”

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